An award to whoever picks me out in this picture first?
Today, I start a second season at St. Xavier High School as the JV tennis coach. Last year, I lost 17 lbs. and radically improved various aspects of my blood work during the high school tennis season. I’d like to build on that foundation this season. I am maybe 2 or 3 lbs lighter than I was at the close of the last tennis season. If I were to lose another 10+ lbs. this season, I might start to see some of the better aspects of my more youthful days on a tennis court. More importantly, my health generally should improve.
I lost a lot of weight in 2012 when I became a vegetarian. I was active in tennis for the next few years and was generally pretty healthy. A parallel story was unfolding in my family. My middle child, born in 2010, has many active medical diagnoses. As he has gotten older, his medical needs have gotten more complex. I quit playing tennis in Spring 2015 not due to any conscious decision but simply because life got more and more hectic for my son and my family-in-general. I have remained a vegetarian, but quickly prepared or prepackaged meals can have no meat in them and still be full of empty calories.
Stress, poor eating, less activity, etc. became a vicious cycle, and I gained a lot of weight before picking up a racquet again in Fall 2017. It was pretty embarrassing and humbling to see how much my game had eroded in 2 1/2 years. My tennis game came back a bit prior to February 2018, but hitting with high school players and being around the sport more frequently slowly knocked some of the rust off of my game as my health also improved. Can a second season do similar work? Will I build on last year’s progress? I am hoping yes is the answer to both.
Many families who are in situations similar to ours find exercise hard to schedule yet also vital to pursue. A specific season helps provide structure to our exercise patterns so hopefully, this season is good for my wife and my children as well.